How do you handle it when you experience a setback? 
I used to suffer through it, distract myself with something probably unhealthy or just completely self-sabotage. Well, when you know better you often do better. If you want a strategy that doesn’t involve hours or days of stressing out, feeling bad or just plain giving up on what you want then today’s episode is an opportunity to help yourself before you wreck yourself. 

Scroll below for the nuggets, mentions, resources and transcript

Get to the good stuff!

  • Step One. Self-awareness is key and absolutely necessary. You have to know yourself, pay attention to, and manage your conscious thought like it’s your business. We create through thought.
  • That podcast I mention, you can find it here!  https://thelifecoachschool.com/podcast/
  • Step Two. Keep yourself regulated aka, practice self-care daily and have a wellness/self-care routine in place you go to daily. Have some tools in your pocket for those moments that shit goes south and our nervous system freaks out.  
  • Grab my resource here: https://amylinsmeyer.com/regulated/
  • Step Three. Show yourself some compassion and finally….

Episode 97

If you’re out here doing hard things like, I don’t know, creating any change for yourself, and don’t have a plan in place, a clear strategy for what you’re going to do when it feels highly uncomfortable, this episode is for you, me and everyone in between.

I’m Amy, a life and wellness coach. You are listening to Roots Change, A Personal Growth podcast for people like us. Every week, myself and others come on to share stories from their own journey, tips, tools, and things we’ve learned along the way in hopes it helps you in yours.

There are a lot of things I’m not great. Things like using proper grammar, learning foreign languages, math above adding and subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions for the purpose of cooking. . Anything above that, I kind of check out.

It’s hard. It’s not an area I have really developed, but I probably could if I really tried and I don’t wanna, but you know what I am good at? I am really great at supporting myself through the hard part. As I should be.

Listen, friend, friends, plural. Is that what that means? I told you I’ve had years and years of practice. My life’s been pretty challenging. Yours probably has been too. How I find you today or how you find me. What you hear from me, who I am, what you observe is not who I was 10 years ago, and you are not either.

I mean, most of us, as we experience life, make mistakes, learn from them, are challenged, and grow from it. Most of us have evolved. Some of us haven’t. And it probably comes down to not knowing how to deal with it when it’s tough. When self-development or betterment is important, we’re constantly putting ourselves in the position of being uncomfortable.

Change is uncomfortable. You hear that in almost every episode. I’m always talking about how change is uncomfortable and totally worth it, but uncomfortable doesn’t have to be bad. It can just be uncomfortable. What we make uncomfortable mean makes all the difference and we’re gonna talk about that as this episode progresses.

Today I wanna talk about the difference between uncomfortable and awful, and also what’s within your power, what you personally can control. You might be thinking you can’t really control much, but you can, and you’re going to find that out. I want to talk about building plans or building a strategy to support yourself as you move forward toward the life you want, as you move forward in your life, as you continue to evolve, and as you continue to change.

I wanna talk about how to make that journey better, how to make it more pleasurable, how to make it more tolerable when it feels not so great.

You may or may not be an every week listener, so you may or may not know that last week there was no Amy, there was no new episode of Roots Change. Now, this week, when it came time to record, when it came time to publish, I found myself in a bit of drama.

I found myself feeling really weird about the podcast. I was having thoughts that created a lot of pressure. You know how when people want you to deliver or when you think that you have to deliver yourself or something in a certain way and the pressure just builds and builds, and then you kind of shut down?

That’s what happens sometimes. Not all the time, but sometimes it does.

It felt like pressure because I did not publish last week. It felt like an added pressure to do it well, this week to do it better, to be better. Like I had to show up. That’s what I was telling myself. Like not showing up meant that I was a total failure, like, huh? You just suck and it’s not true. But these are the kind of thoughts that we have when we don’t show up how we want to, when we feel stuck, when we underdeliver, when we fail, when we have setbacks, we start to tell ourselves all of these things so that we no longer feel it’s necessary to move forward.

It’s not actually that we’re even telling ourselves these things, it’s truly our brain. And if you’ve been listening for a while, this is a concept that you have heard. This is the truth.

Our brain offers us all types of thoughts to keep us comfortable, to keep us safe, to keep us where we. and we don’t want to do that.

As human beings, we evolve, and knowing that we are safe and secure. Like our lives are not on the line, we wanna push ourselves and do hard things. We want to grow and stretch ourselves. When things don’t work out how we hope or we experience setbacks, our brain is like, whoa, girl, slow your role, you’re doing too much. This isn’t even, this isn’t good for you. This isn’t safe for you. And here’s how I’m going to keep us good. I’m gonna tell you that you suck. I’m going to bring to the surface all the memories of times you failed, of how you let other people down, and maybe that’ll keep you from taking that next step. Maybe that’ll help you to keep us safe, keep us comfortable, and that shit sucks. honestly.

And so the very first thing that I want you to write down or to repeat to yourself and remember, the first step to a solid strategy of self-support so that you can sustain the hard parts, the uncomfortable parts so that you can tolerate them and keep moving forward in a more pleasurable, easeful way, is to be self-aware and know your thoughts. Be aware of them.

Friends, I will stand on a hill and scream this until there’s no breath left. Your thoughts matter. What you think matters. It is powerful. You are powerful. You are a creator, and you create through your mind. You create things through your thoughts. Thoughts influence how you feel. They don’t just influence, they dictate how you feel. Your feelings are a reflection of your thoughts, period.

How you feel is a reflection of what you’re thinking, whether you’re aware of what you’re thinking or not. Most of the time we aren’t even aware, and that’s why these next steps matter so much, but for a moment, let’s just focus on the thoughts that we recognize. Let’s just focus on conscious thought.

Be aware.

How do you do that?

What does your practice look like?

What’s the process for, for your own self-awareness?

Do you even have one?

These are all really good questions that you could be asking yourself. For most of my life, I did not. Any process for self-awareness.

I just took my thoughts at face value and thought they were real, believed them all. Believed I was a worthless piece of shit that didn’t deserve anything. I believed it. Usually not always, because if I always believed that there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be here, but I am, which means that my inner being shined through, shown through.

It means that there were times when I could quiet the noise and actually hear myself, pull myself up from the bootstraps, and keep going. But I didn’t have any kind of process for self-awareness for most of my life. I’ve really only developed this skill in the last, I’m gonna say three years. It really is maybe four or five?

I’m not quite sure, but it was when I first started listening to Brooke Costello’s podcast, the Life Coach School. I was already working on bettering myself by changing my situation and I started listening to this podcast. I don’t even know how I stumbled on it, but I did, and I’m so happy that that happened because it changed my life.

I will never forget hearing how my thoughts directly impact my feelings and how my feelings generate the actions that I take and the actions that I take lead to my current results.

I had never I really heard that before. I may have heard it before, but I didn’t really know what it meant. It didn’t stick, it didn’t mean anything to me. But when I heard that, I realized how powerful I am. That’s how powerful you are too, because if our thoughts have that much strength in what happens in our lives and how we feel and how we show up, and the results that we have if our thoughts can influence all of that… Well, then I’m in control because the only thing I can control is myself. So it’s imperative that if I’m going to support myself through the hard parts of life, through the ups and downs, and through the challenges that we will encounter as we grow, then I have to be aware of my thoughts. Because if I’m not aware of those, well, I’m basically screwed. And so are you.

So this is an opportunity, I guess, for you to decide. For you to get curious and try out different methods of self-awareness, and different practices, to be aware of your thoughts.

What might that look like for you?

I started by witnessing them because when I heard this – when I heard that my thoughts had so much power, I was like, no shit? Let me just see if that’s even true. Let me just get curious and honest about what I’m thinking and see if I can follow the breadcrumb trail and see if it’s really tied to my results. And I did, and it was true. And I was like, oh, what the fuck? If I can slightly change. this thought so that it’s not like I’m a piece of shit. If I can change that thought to I’m having like, this feels hard that, that, that’s better than this is a piece of shit. Let me see what find out if I start believing that this is hard, but I’m probably going to get better the longer I do it. Well, that changes everything.

when we’re doing something that feels really hard and we screw up, and I’m gonna use, um, something that I think most all of us can relate to. Let’s say we are working on our, uh, building like a healthy habit, right? Let’s say it’s fitness and we’re committed, or I’m committed to it. Moving my body for 20 minutes a day or 30 minutes a day or whatever, and I do good for like a week, and then I do bad one day. And then the next day I feel bad because I did badly the day before and then I don’t do anything. And so then the third day, I feel like a complete piece of shit and oh, here I am again, quitting on myself. I can’t do anything. Right? I’m just a big, stupid quitter.

That’s how we talk to ourselves. That’s how I talk to myself when I’m not paying attention. , I’m sorry, friends but kindness to myself was not my default for almost ever.

Not until recent years have I learned to be kind to myself, and so it’s very easy for me to slip into negative self-talk and straight-up bullying when I screw up, when I don’t do what I said I’m going to do for myself. When I suck at accountability… in the follow-through.

I have a tendency of being super hard on myself, harder than I am on anyone else.

 I’d never in a million years tell somebody who’s working with me that they suck for not following through for themselves. Never, ever, ever, never. I’d never say that to my kids, but I’ll say it to myself. That’s just straight up, fucked up. It just is terrible. But you probably do the same thing or have.

If you get really honest, when you’re not doing as hot as you want to, you probably have a certain level of negative self-talk. What happens when you’re talking shit to yourself? Do you feel good? No, you feel worse. And when you feel worse, what kind of actions do you take? Not great ones, that’s for sure. And so the result is, you don’t move forward. You move backward, actually. And so that’s why being aware of our thoughts is so important.

 If you do not know how to do that, a great way for you to start is just to frankly get to know yourself, and spy on yourself. Find ways to check-in. It might be every morning doing a brain dump on a piece of paper. It might be noticing how you feel and learning how emotions feel in your body. Like, Hmm, I don’t always know when my thoughts are going wild, but I do know what stress feels like, so if I notice that my chest feels really tight, I know there’s something going on. Anxiety is a symptom of something else and it’s probably your thoughts or it’s probably, um, some energetic thing happening in your body. It’s a response. It’s something to do with your nervous system, but I can almost guarantee that within the mix, the cocktail that no one wants to drink, there are some shitty ass thoughts. There’s some worry. There are some, I should have done this. There’s something going on there and so when I have a tight chest, huh, I know that that is a cue to start paying attention to my thoughts. When I am snapping at people when, when my legs feel restless, when my jaw hurts, like I know I’m clenching… all of these things… the point I’m trying to make is like how I feel in my body is a cue of what’s going on in my mind.

And so for me, this was a really good way for me to start to become somebody who can witness her own thoughts. Because I didn’t know, like how do you know your thoughts? I don’t know. I didn’t love journaling at that time, so this was just something easy for me. And maybe that’s a good path for you. Maybe not. But you know what? You have access to the internet, and the internet is full of suggestions. There’s so many smart people out there in the world, people that are so much wiser than I, and I bet you they have some really good ideas.

So if you don’t know where to start, noticing the cues in your body and becoming friends with your feelings, and knowing what your feelings mean; if that’s not where your starting point is, just find something that maybe feels better. Get curious, and research. Try ’em out. You don’t have to stick to anything. You can just try and see what works.

The second thing I, what a great segue this is. The second piece of a solid self-support plan. I don’t know what I’m calling this so I’m like flipping between self-support, supportive plan, whatever, how you can support yourself through the hard stuff, a solid strategy. Number two is to learn how to regulate that nervous system.

What you just heard was me coming back, calming down, centering. My hands on my heart. My feet are on the ground. I’m feeling grounded. I’m coming back. I just wanted to be honest, like right now, just talking about all my self-talk and how I recognize my thoughts through the cues that my, like the signals of my body, as I’m talking about it, I’m having physical symptoms. Like, mm, my chest feels really tight right now.

My throat feels really rough. You may or may not hear it. It’s like, um, like froggy, like there’s kind of like a vibration in, in my throat. These are cues that , so it’s so interesting to me right now that I’m just sharing this with all of you as an example. Oh my God. And my upper back feels really tight

and in just a few breaths.

Just a few moments of mindfulness of presence helps me balance all of that out.

Nervous system regulation is an ongoing journey of learning for me. There are a few things that I find really easy. One hand on the heart, one hand on my abdomen or gut

(Inhale/Exhale Sounds) taking breaths like that, oh my gosh. It’s like, hmm, A wave of calmness comes over me. So that’s always a go-to for me. Like I don’t always, sometimes I get myself so worked up, how am I supposed to, I can’t just go to the most effective strategy, so you know what I do? I go to what works and because I know that works it is the most effective strategy. Doesn’t have to be fancy. But building a wellness routine to maintain a regulated nervous system is going to help you support yourself when you are, when your nervous system is activated, what will activate your nervous system? Um, feeling like you’re rejected. Feeling like you messed up.

Um, I’m saying feel because of what we would tell ourselves. The things that we would think. So nobody wants to work with me. I never follow through with my commitment. I’m unreliable. No wonder nobody likes me. These thoughts, they don’t. They, create our feelings, and our emotions, and it’s not just our thoughts that are activated. our nervous system is responding. There are things physically happening to you and you are feeling them, and it’s perpetuating unhelpful thoughts. So learning how to regulate your nervous system when it’s activated, and building routines and practices that will maintain a regulated nervous system is going to help you when shit gets hard.

Self-care should be your best friend. Like number one priority should be how you take care of yourself. And I’m saying that only because it’s what I believe. You don’t have to believe me, it’s just my opinion that prioritizing yourself, prioritizing your well-being, and pouring into your wellness. should be priority number one because it influences everything.

It influences your thoughts; it influences how you treat people. It influences what you get done. It influences your life.

Building a self-care plan, a daily self-care plan is going to keep you regulated. It’s going to support your mind, body, and spirit. And then having that other set of tools, those other things that you’ve learned help you in the moment when things are already messed up like learning what you can do for you to bring you back to a neutral state, it’s going to be a game changer for your life.

It will literally change everything.

What I’m going to do, because I’m not an expert at this by any means, but I do have tools. There are things that I use myself and that I share with clients, so I will share them with you. If you go to the show notes after you listen, I will have a link to a document that you can just download, and it has all types of different strategies. It will tell you what anxiety feels like, and what stress feels like. It will give you ideas of things that you can try to balance yourself to come back to a more neutral place to self-regulate.

Try a couple of ’em out, see which ones feel good, and if you don’t like any of them… Guess what? You have the internet. Do research for yourself. Get curious. Care enough about how you feel, care enough about what happens next, to take a little time to investigate this for yourself.

The third thing I would like to remind you of, and it’s very important when it comes to self-support and those hard times, is to show yourself some compassion.

When you’re rattled, when things are going wrong, when you’re experiencing a setback, when you are caught up in a self-sabotage cycle because you know it happens. It even happens to me. I was super terrible the other day with one of my kids. I was acting like a little kid instead of a mother. It happens. We all screw up. I don’t always do the right thing. You are not always going to do the right thing, but we always, as long as we have a breath, we have an opportunity to try something different. And so it’s so important that when we do screw up, when we don’t take that next step. When we completely stop, abandon ship, or just set course to a new path, because the other one we were on, screw that, that sucked. Let’s just do this instead.

When that happens, if you don’t have compassion for yourself, what’s gonna happen when it happens again? Because it probably will. Because why? Change is uncomfortable. We don’t like to be uncomfortable. How are we going to move through it? We’re not going to suffer through it. Suffering sucks. So, showing compassion to ourselves is like our way of saying it’s okay. Like it’s love. It’s an act of self-love.

We are human. I’m human. You’re human. If you understand these words, you’re human. And it’s okay. We are bound to screw up. So, what does compassion look like for you? What would compassion in a moment of a setback look like? What would it feel like? What would a compassionate person say to you after three days of not doing that thing you swore you were going to do? What would compassion look like if you no longer smoke and find yourself having a cigarette on the porch… What would compassion look like?

I know what compassion doesn’t look like. Compassion doesn’t look like, “I’m a pathetic loser”. That’s not compassion. Compassion is, “I’m going to do better next time”,” tomorrow is a new day”, “I’m learning” “every day is an opportunity to do better”, and “well, that didn’t go as I hoped… that didn’t even go as I planned, but you know. I bet next time it does, I believe next time it will… I don’t believe this will happen again”. Like that’s compassion.

Compassion is understanding and showing love to yourself.

So how are you going to show yourself compassion? How will you know when it’s time to show yourself compassion? I, my guess is I’m inclined to say a good way for you to know when it’s time to show yourself compassion is when you’re taking some weird actions or when you notice a lot of self-talk, or when you notice that you’re just not yourself. When you’re not proud of your results.

That’s like there’s always a good time for Compass. Always, it’s never not a good time for compassion. Forgive yourself, and move forward. It’s okay. You got this.

These are just three little things, three not-so-little things. Three really significant big things. Three things that I would love for you to think about. Three things. Three things combined together will help you to build a plan or a strategy of self-support so that when things feel as though they are falling apart. When you experience a setback or when it feels hard. When you feel rejected. When you feel small and you feel like that thing you really want isn’t important anymore, so that you don’t quit so that you don’t say, onto the next thing… this was too hard… I guess I really didn’t want it that much. To keep your skin in the game, to keep you moving forward… these are things that you can consider doing for yourself so that when those moments happen, they don’t knock you on your ass. Or they don’t keep you on your ass for too long.

I could not be recording this podcast, right now. The thought crossed my mind. it’s… I’ve talked about it before. It crosses my mind a lot. Sometimes it feels really uncomfortable to get in front of a mic and talk. Sometimes I tell myself like, who am I to do this? Who am I to offer my gifts to the world? And that’s what I feel they are. I feel like my perspective and what I’ve learned through my journey, feel like gifts to me. I feel like they impacted me in positive ways, and I feel that they can impact others. I feel that they can impact change and ripple out into the world in a beautiful way.

But who am I to do that? Like I’m just me. I have terrible grammar. I cuss a lot. I screw up and I don’t even wanna record this podcast sometimes. So, who am I?

I’ll tell you who I am. I’m Amy Linsmeyer! I’m a freaking queen. I’m an amazing human being. I’m strong and I’m capable, and I’m not afraid to be uncomfortable. I know how to support myself. I want you to learn how to support yourself too.

try these out. See what happens. See what comes up. Give it a shot and practice. Practice a lot. Go to those show notes, get that tool I’m offering you, and if you wanna take it a step further, find out if coaching is the next step for you. Find out if getting into the community with other people bettering themselves, other people invested in their own self-development, and be a part of something where you can communicate and encourage and be encouraged by other people. Take that avenue.

There are so many different ways. For you to keep going. There are so many doors open and I might not even be one of them. Like, roots change might not be the path for you, but it’s out there and I encourage you to go explore it.

Roots change, with every choice you make. Until the next time, you are loved, you are worthy, and you can achieve anything.

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